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Holy Family Sunday – Homily

Holy Family, Year B
Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3
Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19
Luke 2:22-40
December 28, 2014

The scriptures contains stories of models of faith to us.  One of the early models of faith in the Old Testament is Abraham, first known as Abram.  Over 2,000 years after he died, Abraham continues to be described as a model of faith for us.  Actually, we refer to him not just as a model of father but as our father in faith.

When God told Abraham to go out to a new land, Abraham went even though he didn’t know where he was going.  He went because he had faith in God’s words.

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus show the same faith when, after Jesus’ birth, the angel directs Joseph to take the family to Egypt for safety.  Leaving their homeland, they went to Egypt with faith in God’s words.

Do we go where God directs or do we insist on knowing the whole plan before we act?

God had made a promise to Abraham that he would have a son.  Abraham did not doubt God’s promise but wondered how.  In his questioning, he sought a son through Sarah’s slave but he still listened to God.

When Mary became pregnant, Joseph wanted to do the right thing so he planned to divorce her quietly.  When God said, no, take her into your home, he did what God asked.

God doesn’t give us all the answers but do we believe what He does say?

How do we seek answers from God?  Do we ask real questions and then give God a chance to answer in His way or do use Jeopardy style statements where we give God the answers we want and then expect Him to supply what we need to get there?

Mary asked how can this be and then listened in faith.  Mary and Joseph sought to make their family holy.  In today’s gospel we hear how they go to Jerusalem for the purification rituals.  When they went, they were greeted by first Simeon and then Anna, two people of great faith who longed to see the Messiah.

Joseph and Mary already knew that Jesus was the Son of God and yet they were astonished at the words of Simeon and Anna about Jesus.  The journey as a family was just beginning for them.

Abraham served as a model and our father.

Mary is the perfect example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, saying do whatever he tells us.  Joseph was a righteous man.  Jesus is the Son of God.  Together Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are a family.

To be a family is not easy.  I see it in my own family.  I have several family members who are divorced and in my generation some who have never gotten married (I think influenced by the divorce).

Some marry the wrong person, maybe thinking they were change.  Maybe something was hidden.

Sometimes we think that love conquers all and as so as long as we love one another, everything will be fine.  Being a couple takes hard work.

Adding children can make it even more challenging to be a family.  After all, they are children, not angels, and they require work.

Our lives get busy.  Some people work a lot of hours to support their family but are they connected to their family?

Sometimes as youth children can get involved in lots of activities and you can spend a lot of time running between things.  It’s good to support them but how do make sure you are family and not just a taxi driver?

How do we set our priorities as families?  Where is God in the family?  What do you do for family?  What do you do for Jesus?

One Comment

  1. Thank You Father Jeff for your weekly sharing. It has inspired me to pen this down and to share this in your blog.

    We continue to share what we know about God individually in our own personal faith journey
    which will always remain a Mystery in any society, whether we are rich, the middle class, the poor and the poorest in today’s current situations. We all need conversion in different degrees to be able to give hope where hope is the dimmest. Praise to God that he did not leave us without any instructions. In Ephesians 6:17, “Finally, use the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, that is, the Word of God” .

    To have the knowledge of God is what God wants. In Hosea 6:6, “ For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, it is the knowledge of God, not burnt offerings’ and Jesus has again reconfirmed in Matthew 9:13 “‘Go and find out what this means: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners”. It is all about being Merficul , Compassion & Justice. It is always easy to point the figure at anyone but ourselves but if we know the root cause, it should always start from there to explore further taking into considerations all aspects of life journey for just anyone.

    If we read the word of God from the scriptures, we know from the very beginning what the Root Cause is. God has already warned Adam/Eve in Genesis 2:16 – 17. “Then Yahweh God gave an order to Man saying, “You may eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will not eat, for on the day you will eat of it, you will die”. This is the root of the Original Sin passed down from Adam & Eve from the very beginning of time to eternity.
    Fortunately, God did not leave us stranded. As he is a Merciful & Compassionate God for his creation of humankind, he showed us his Love by sacrificing His Son, Jesus, both human and divine to die for the whole human race to fulfil His Purpose and His Plan. We do not know what God has planned for us every seconds but we do know it is for a purpose that He alone knows. Jeremiah 1: 4 “ A word of Yahweh came to me, before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart, and appointed you a prophet to the nations” We do not know when the appointed time will be but we must be vigilant always and be prepared for it. God chose, Mary through the intercessions of angel Gabriel to fulfil his plans. At times, angels intercede for us when we are fearful just like Mary. I have personally taken the choice to choose Mary as My Spiritual Mother because I know for a fact that I can no longer be there forever for my children but Mary will always be there till the end of times to draw them closer and closer to his son,Jesus in God’s plan for us according to His word in John 19:27 “This is your mother. And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home”
    There will be visible signs shown everywhere to reveal this truth.The Holy Family will always be in my heart everyday and in particular on the Feast Day on the 1st Day of Every Year.

    During Christmas seasons the decorations and preparations towards Christmas have been very much commercially demonstrated in different nations. These are the visual signs of our faith in Jesus even to non believers.This is our faith and our belief.In Romans 1:20 “For, though we cannot see him, we can at least discover him though his works; for he created the world and through his works we understand him to be eternal and all-powerful,and to be God”

    As we let others know about Jesus, we need courage to stand up for our beliefs, we need to do it gently with love, compassion and mercy and at all times with the right motives in anyway we can. If we have faith even as small as a mustard seed and act with love and passion, the Holy Spirit will recognise it and will help us along the way even when we are not aware of it in the spiritual realm.
    God Bless
    Maureen De Wind

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